A380

airlineBA777flying3Having introduced an additional 3 weekly flights between London Heathrow and Johannesburg last year on a trial basis, British Airways has now confirmed that the flights will continue to operate during the rest of 2013. That means it will offer 17 flights a week between the 2 business centres.

British Airways already operated a double daily 747 service between the 2 cities with both flights operating overnight. The additional 3 weekly flights are operated by 777-200 aircraft, flying overnight between the UK and South Africa and returning as a day flight. Ian Petrie, regional manager for Africa had this to say: “We’ve always said that we constantly review our routes and will add capacity where there is demand. That’s exactly what we’ve done.”

British Airways PlcBoth the 777 and 747 offer a four class service (the only airline to do so between the cities), with a choice of First, Club World, World Traveller Plus & World Traveller.

In addition to flights to Johannesburg, British Airways also operates year-round flights between Heathrow & Cape Town with a double daily 747 service during the high season (the UK winter), reverting to a single, daily service for the rest of the year.  With South African Airlines having pulled out of the Cape Town route, the only direct competition the airline faces is from Virgin Atlantic which operates the significantly smaller A340.

British Airways PlcThe popularity of the Johannesburg service does again raise the question of whether, following on from Los Angeles & Hong Kong, it will be one of the destinations that British Airways decides to serve using its brand new A380s (the airline has a total of 12 A380′ on order).  British Airways may decide to revert to just 2 flights a day, operating 1 by 747 and 1 by the A380. Not only would this give the airline roughly the same weekly capacity as the current  17 flights a week, it would also free up slots at capacity constrained Heathrow.

a380 real

British Airways has announced that it will launch its first A380 service to Los Angeles, commencing 15th October. The inaugural service, BA 269, will depart from Heathrow’s Terminal 5 at 16:15, arriving in Los Angeles at 19:15 the same day. The return flight, BA 268, will depart Los Angeles at 21:30, arriving back into Heathrow at 15:45 the following day.

British Airways A380

British Airways A380

The airline is set to receive the first of its 12 aircraft in July and will first operate the aircraft on short-haul routes in order to fully train air and ground crew. Although no details of  these ‘training’routes have been announced, Paris, Frankfurt & Madrid would seem most likely. Although the first flights to Los Angeles have been set for 15th October, the airline have advised that this may be brought forward if trials prove easier than expected.

Following on from Los Angeles, and commencing 15th November, the next route to benefit from the A380 will be Hong Kong; previous comments from the airline had indicated that Hong Kong would be the first destination to receive the A380.

New A380 World Traveller Cabin

New A380 World Traveller Cabin

The British Airways A380 will accommodate 469 seats in a full 4-class layout; that is significantly less seats than both Air France & Lufthansa but more than Korean Airlines. British Airways will become the 10th airline to operate the A380 but, once its takes delivery of its new Boeing 787 Dreamliners, also later this year, will be the world’s first airline to operate both aircraft types.

Here is a little preview of the new A380

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British Airways A380 layout

British Airways A380 layout